Submission Guidelines


  • Overview
  • Publication Timing & Review Process
  • Submission Types
  • Article Guidelines
  • Key Themes
  • Common Keywords
  • Overview

    The following information reviews key parameters and guidelines to consider when submitting an article to Patient Experience Journal (PXJ). Prior to submission, it is advised that authors review the PXJ website and specifically the pages on About this Journal and Publication Policies. These pages provide an overview of the types of pieces of interest and general audience of this publication. They also detail the submission process itself. Authors are also encouraged to review the framing themes and associated keywords for the journal (found below) to determine whether the submitted article is in appropriate alignment with PXJ’s purpose and focus.

    Please note: Prior to submitting an article, you will need to establish an account with the journal. Once completed, it will take you to the submission page. You can get started by clicking the "Submit Article" button to the right.

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    Publication Timing & Review Process

    Submissions to PXJ are accepted on an ongoing basis and should follow the requested submission types and adhere to the full author guidelines outlined here. PXJ publishes three times annually with general issues in April and November and a special issue in July/August of each year. Submissions are considered for publication in a pending issue once deemed ready for publication, not necessarily based on date of submission. All issues of PXJ, including the special issues, follow the same editorial and review process and adhere to the guidelines included here. We encourage and welcome your submission.

    Submitting authors are typically notified of an initial editorial decision to send their submission to review within 30 days of the receipt of a completed submission. All submissions follow a full double-blind review process. Submissions that are selected to go to review typically receive notification of initial publication decisions within 120 days, though timing may vary due to reviewer response. We are committed to actively keeping authors appraised of the status of your submission. We encourage you to review our full Peer Review Policy here.

    We invite you to begin the submission process. Please note: Prior to submitting an article, you will need to establish an account with the journal. Once completed, it will take you to the submission page. You can get started by clicking the "Submit Article" button to the right.

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    Submission Types

    PXJ aligns its publication around the following submission types:

      • Research Articles. Papers describing research studies using qualitative, quantitative, experimental, survey, and innovative multi-methodological designs to rigorously test hypotheses about the prevalence and impact of patient experience efforts and interventions to facilitate it.
      • Literature Reviews. Critical brief summaries of the state of research and literature as it pertains to an area impacting patient experience, or subtopics within patient experience efforts.
      Case Studies
      • Case Studies are papers describing specific and tangible application of practice, the evidence behind its selection and the measurable outcomes it has generated. Submissions should be structured to include:
        • A description of the issue the effort looked to address.
        • The practices, processes or programs applied to address the issue and why these were selected.
        • The measurable outcomes - positive, negative or neutral - realized as a result of the effort.
        • Implications for this case on further practice and generalized recommendations based on the outcomes.
        • Suggestions for further exploration or research in this area. Questions that remain.
      Personal Narratives
      • Personal Narratives showcase individual patients, providers or others who are leading the effort to employ patient experience practices with powerful lessons, practical outcomes or measured results. Biographical essays should target a maximum of 2500 words to capture the essence and importance of the story. Submissions should be structured based on the following outline:
        • Intent of the essay/introduction to the narrative - What do you intend to share?
        • General narrative, a synopsis of the story highlighting relevant moments - What was your experience?
        • Reflections/recommendations based on experience - focused on practical implication - What would you want to see happen/change as a result of your experience?
      Book Review
      • Book Reviews. Brief commentaries on (and links to) recently published journal articles, news reports, and books. Reviews will generally describe why the reader interested in patient experience improvement would be interested in the item in question and how the object of comment contributes to the PXJ mission to help individuals and organizations enact positive, successful patient experience actions and efforts.
      • Commentaries are accepted only by invitation of the Editorial Team. They tend to be print essays on personal perspectives and/or lived experiences and reviews of topics relevant to the discussion of patient experience improvement ands the human experience in healthcare. Commentaries are directly reviewed by the editorial team.

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    Article Guidelines

    All submitting authors are strongly encouraged to review the full PXJ Style Guide prior to submission. Key points of consideration for any submission include:

    • Length: Submitted article length may vary but should not exceed the suggested maximum length of 5000 words for full research articles. (Word count is not inclusive of abstracts, figures or references.)
    • Abstract: Every paper MUST include an abstract written in paragraph format of 250 words or less. A concise abstract for full research articles should include four main elements: objective, methods, results and conclusions. Non-research focused articles should provide an effective summary of the intended takeaways of the piece in a similar abstract format.
    • Themes/Keywords: Submissions to PXJ should align with the core themes identified for the journal. These themes can be found below. A listing of keywords must accompany every submission. Common keywords are also noted below. Authors are not restricted to the previous keywords seen in PXJ but should be aware of their alignment to the overall focus and purpose of the journal. This conveys to the Editorial Team where the author(s) identify the submission as appropriate to the focus of PXJ.
    • Requested Formating: Articles should be submitted in Microsoft Word format, double-spaced and with a font style and size that does not impede on the readability of the submitted article. Authors should also remove as much identifying information as possible without taking away from the intent of the submission. Once an article is accepted for publication, articles will be adapted to the PXJ standard template in proceeding through the revision and final proof stages.
    • Citations: All citations must be presented in AMA format. You can see an example and guidelines to this format here. Documents not submitted in this format will be sent back to the authors for revisions as part of any other revision requests.
    • Reviewers: As a double-blind, peer-reviewed journal, PXJ prides itself on providing rigorous and thoughtful reviews that evaluate a submitted article’s methodological rigor and practical relevance. Submitted articles are typically assigned to 2. Additionally, submitting authors are encouraged to provide the names, institutions and contact information for up to 2 preferred reviewers for their submission if they choose. Otherwise, reviewers will be selected by the editor(s). We encourage you to review our full Peer Review Policy here.

    For further inquiries on the submission process or questions on these guidelines, please contact Jason A. Wolf, PhD, CPXP, Founding Editor here.

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    Key Themes

    PXJ is committed to shaping and supporting the development of the research conversation on patient experience. To provide context and guidelines for submissions the journal looks to publish, the following themes have been adapted. These themes provide anchors on which papers can be grounded, areas in which they look to explore or concepts they wish to introduce and discuss. While the journal is not limited to these themes, they should be considered by potential authors to gauge the appropriate nature of their work for the publication.




    The orchestrated touch-points of people, processes, policies, communications, actions, and environment


    The vision, values, people (at all levels and in all parts of the organization) and community engaged and involved with the organization


    What is recognized, understood and remembered by patients and support people. Perceptions vary based on individual experiences such as beliefs, values, cultural background, etc.

    Continuum of Care

    In all facets of the healthcare system, in all encounters, in all settings from non-clinical proactive experiences to long term or hospice; and across the spectrum of services.

    Integrated Nature

    Reinforces that experience from the patient perspective is singular and aligned, not simply a collection of distinct or disparate efforts. It is encompassing of all encounters whether they include quality, safety or service and these efforts should be coordinated and aligned to support a “one-experience” mindset. [Includes: Beyond survey results, more than satisfaction]


    Recognizes that the recipient and deliverer of healthcare experience are at their core human beings. As a component of experience, this reinforces that process or protocol should not trump the broader needs of people engaged (in almost all cases) at any point on the healthcare spectrum. [Includes: Aligned with patient-centered care principles]

    Patient & Family Partnership (& Engagement)

    Acknowledges that patients, families and members of their support network are active participants in the care experience and must be engaged as participant owners in their encounters. The voices of these individuals are not only significant in situations of care, but also in planning, ongoing operations and change/improvement efforts. [Includes: Focus on expectations, focus on individualized care]


    If not associated with specific themes above, submissions should relate in some way to the general discussion on patient experience. As a journal committed to expanding the conversation, PXJ continues to look for emerging ideas and thoughts on patient experience research and improvement.

    Source : Wolf, Jason A. PhD; Niederhauser, Victoria DrPH, RN; Marshburn, Dianne PhD, RN, NE-BC; and LaVela, Sherri L. PhD, MPH, MBA (2014) "Defining Patient Experience," Patient Experience Journal: Vol. 1: Iss. 1, Article 3.

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    Common Keywords

    Submitting authors to PXJ should identify an appropriate list of keywords associated with their article that both honors the content of the submission and informs potential readers about the context of the article. Keywords will be included in the article cover page. A review of the 15 most common keywords used in multiple publications is presented below. Keywords are listed in order of frequency from most to least often used. The list does not include the numerous keywords seen in only one submission. As authors determine keywords, please note they need not be listed here to be included in your submission, but rather this list should serve as a guide to the content most relevant to the journal’s readership. Keywords include:

Patient Experience
Human Experience
Patient Satisfaction
Patient-Centered Care
Patient Engagement
Patient- and Family- Centered Care
Consumer Engagement
Quality of Life
Quality of Care
Health Literacy
Health disparities
Workforce Engagement
Healthcare Leadership

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